Voinovich asks cms about quality standards for HME

Sunday, July 10, 2005

WASHINGTON -- Sen. George V. Voinovich, R-Ohio, urged CMS to address his constituents' concerns about the development of quality standards for HME suppliers in a letter sent to Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt June 29.

Voinovich relayed provider anxieties that the slow pace of development could hinder supplier attempts to be fully accredited by the time competitive bidding gets underway.

"As you know," Voinovich wrote, " obtaining accreditation status typically takes six to [12] months, and in light of the impending implementation of the competitive acquisition program, my constituents feel CMS must issue the final quality standards this summer."

In the same letter, Voinovich addressed his own concerns about beneficiary access and the livelihood of small businesses under competitive bidding.

In another letter sent to Leavitt the same day, the senator also relayed constituent concerns about the need for more polices and regulations so physicians, clinicians and suppliers could understand the NCD.

Voinovich said his constituents wanted CMS to:

- Explain that beneficiaries should qualify for coverage if they needed a power chair for any mobility-related activity of daily living.

- Issue the face-to-face rule and a regulation that lets any physician prescribe a scooter. (Since the letter was sent, the DMERCS have been issuing notices that sanction the latter.)

- Define the documentation requirements for power wheelchairs.